Thursday 19 April 2018

Steve Walford on the verge of taking Bolton coaching job

Steve Walford, left, has been a long-time coach for Martin O'Neill
Steve Walford, left, has been a long-time coach for Martin O'Neill

Republic of Ireland coach Steve Walford is on the verge of being named Neil Lennon's new assistant manager at Sky Bet Championship club Bolton.

The ex-Arsenal and West Ham defender has been on Martin O'Neill's coaching staff for the past 25 years and was a tutor to Lennon during the Northern Irishman's playing days at Leicester and Celtic.

With his long-time right-hand man Johan Mjallby standing aside for family reasons, Lennon has moved quickly to fill the void with Walford.

"We're close to appointing Steve Walford," he said.

"He's worked with Martin O'Neill for the last 20-25 years. I had 10 years under him as a player with him, Martin and John Robertson.

"He's currently first-team coach with Republic of Ireland, and he will continue those duties, but we'll hopefully get that finalised today (Monday) and he will be here tomorrow.

"He knows the way I work. He knows my personality and vice versus. He's got a wealth of experience, from League One, League Two, Championship, Premier League, Scotland, Europe, Champions League, international level - he's coached at every spectrum of the game.

"I'm very fortunate that he's agreed to come and really grateful for Martin for giving us this opportunity as well.

"We've kept in touch over the years. I've got a huge respect for him, he had a huge influence on my career, as did Martin. I basically learned the top end of the game from them guys. He's looking forward to the challenge - it's fantastic for us."

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